Utah Friends of Paleontology
Code of Ethics


Utah Friends of Paleontology has attempted to set a standard code of ethics and conduct as a model for its organization and members. The purposes of the code are to enhance the science of paleontology, to preserve our prehistoric heritage, and to assure the quality and reputation of the efforts of the organization.

Utah Friends of Paleontology (UFOP) has been established to provide a pool of trained volunteers in paleontology to institutions engaged in excavations, laboratory preparation, museum curation, and education in paleontology. UFOP members work under the direct leadership and advisement of an agency or institution.


1. “Permit holder” is the institution holding the permit for field work or that has secured permission from the owner/manager to conduct paleontological work.

2. “Sponsoring institution” is the agency or institution that facliitates each chapter’s activities, fieldwork, and laboratory work for the mutual benefit of the institution and UFOP.

3. “Host institution” is the agency or museum where laboratory work and conservation are accomplished. The host institution and the sponsoring institution may be one and the same, but not necessarily.

Field Work

1. Paleontological sites and paleontological remains are non-renewable natural resources which reflect our prehistoric heritage. UFOP strives to protect and respect all landscapes, all plant- and animal-life, and all environments that are impacted by excavation and preservation of paleontological sites. Impacts of disturbance will be ameliorated by reclamation according to the requirements of the land manager or land owner.

2. Members participate in field work under the authority and supervision of the permit holder. Site information and location are confidential; dissemination of information concerning sites and field work is the responsibility of the permit holder. Release of information concerning field work to the media will be made by the permit holder as appropriate.

3. Field work on public lands may be conducted only under appropriate permits issued to a permit holder or the sponsoring institution. Field work on private lands may be conducted only under the written consent of the landowner (and all other tenants or lessees) to a permit holder or a sponsoring institution.

4. All specimens will be deposited in designated repositories or institutions, with accompanying site records, as required by permit.

Conservation and Curation

1. Members who participate in laboratory preparation and museum curation work under the supervision of the sponsoring institution or host institution.

2. Members assist curators in the laboratory preparation of fossils collected under UFOP sponsorship until conservation needs are satisfied.

3. UFOP neither encourages nor endorses private collections. Members may not engage in commercial activities that may arise directly or indirectly from their participation in UFOP activities.

4. Release of information to the media concerning research and curation is the responsibility of the host institution or the sponsoring institution.


1. The most important goal of UFOP is education, accomplished directly through participation by members, and indirectly through educational activities that involve non-members. Members are encouraged to participate in local educational activites that advance the science of paleontology and the goals of UFOP.

2. Institutional collections and teaching kits that contain real specimens and replicas are encouraged. Through the guidance of chapter advisors, members are encouraged to assist with the assembly of teaching materials that are appropriate to institutional needs.

3. Members are free to discuss their interests with the media as individuals. Spokespersons designated by the sponsoring institutions and/or the permit holders shall communicate with the media concerning discoveries, sites, and projects. Officers of UFOP or their representatives are the only spokespersons designated to communicate with the media on policy-related issues.

4. UFOP will educate members to uphold all federal and state laws and regulations. Any disciplinary actions necessary will follow procedures established by UFOP by-laws.